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2010 Subaru Forester Leaking Oil (from where?)


I have a 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5L H4 SOHC 16V manual transmission. I have 200 000km on it. A couple of weeks ago I noticed some small oil spots on the ground on the driver’s side towards the front of the car. It doesn’t seem to leak oil when it’s sitting there, just when it’s running. I looked under the engine and notice it’s leaking from a gasket, but I’m not sure which gasket. I don’t think it’s the head gasket because the gasket that’s leaking runs parallel to the front of the car (my Subaru has a boxer engine so head gasket would be parallel to the sides if I’m not mistaken). Since I’m a new user I could only post one picture. If anyone has any ideas on which gasket is leaking I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

I’m definitely no Subaru guy . . . but could that be the timing case cover that is leaking?

If that’s the black plastic timing belt cover, the oil is probably leaking above it and running down, possibly from the front of a valve cover.

that black plastic cover is the timing belt cover

Looks like the camshaft seal on the left side is leaking. That’s inside the timing cover. How long ago did you have the timing belt service done?


If the timing belt has been service, the cam seals should be replaced also and oil pump should be properly resealed.

I’ve never had it serviced

200k kilometers is about 125K miles

So I would say it’s due by mileage

An oil saturated timing belt is usually not long for this world. If it jumps or breaks you would be looking at serious engine damage.
It would be best to replace the the belt kit along with all of the oil seals inside the belt case.


IIRC, Subaru specifies that the timing belt should be replaced at 105k miles, so that belt would be living on borrowed time even if it wasn’t oil-soaked, and being oil-soaked is a very bad thing for a rubber part like that belt.

In case the OP isn’t aware of it, when that belt snaps (with no warning whatsoever), your engine will immediately sustain MAJOR damage to both pistons and valves, so I would suggest having the timing belt–and whatever gasket is leaking–repaired…yesterday.

And, since the OP has obviously not maintained his vehicle as per the factory maintenance schedule, this would be a good time to take a look at both the maintenance schedule and his maintenance receipts in order to see what other vital maintenance procedures he has skipped.